November 15, 2014 - 10:33 AM
KAMLOOPS - Colonies of feral cats run rampant in the Kamloops area and little has been done to control the felines. That could change as a task force applies for grants to trap, spay or neuter, and then release the cats.
Without a program in place to spay or neuter, the cats colonies can quickly grow to 60-80 cats. Often colonies start when people dump their cat thinking it will be able to take care of itself. As the colony grows, larger cats may branch off and form other colonies that will grow quickly as well.
The local branch of the B.C. SPCA has started a task force to look the locations and numbers of feral cat colonies.
Shelter workers have already been dealing with several local colonies on their own time. Valerie Wilson says they try to work with property owners where the colonies live to provide a place for the adult cats to live once they’ve been fixed and treated for any diseases.
Most of the adult cats can't be adopted because they haven't been socialized, although the shelter tries to work with kittens under four months to socialize them. This involves 24 hours of care and handling, seven days a week, and often takes at least a month before they are comfortable enough with people to be adopted.
“Given the right circumstances they can be re-homed, but its hard,” Wilson notes, adding just the right conditions need to be provided in order to adopt a colony cat.
In the meantime, people can help with the program by letting the shelter know where colonies are by private messaging the shelter through it's Facebook page or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
People are asked to provide as much information as possible, including if there is a caretaker for the colony and contact information for that caretaker, the location (including if it is urban, rural, house, farm, etc), the approximate number of current cats and kittens, if there appears to be any health concerns that need to be addressed and if shelter or food is currently being provided to the cats.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014